French Revolution, Russian Revolution, Xinhai Chinese Revolution
The American Revolution occurred during the last half of the 18th century when
thirteen of Britain's colonies in North America overthrew the governance of the Parliament
of Great Britain, and also later rejected the British monarchy to join as the sovereign
United States of America.
The colonies first rejected the authority of the Parliament to govern them without
representation, forming self-governing independent states. These independent states
through the Second Continental Congress then joined together against the British in the
armed conflict from 1775 to 1783 which is known as the American The Revolutionary War or
The American War of Independence.
In 1776, representatives from each of the original thirteen independent states voted
unanimously in the Second Continental Congress to adopt a Declaration of Independence,
which now rejected the British monarchy in addition to its Parliament. The Declaration
established the United States, which was originally governed as a loose confederation
through a representative government selected by state legislatures.
United States now rejected the legitimacy of the monarchy to demand allegiance.
After the American victory in October 1781 there was a formal British abandonment of any
claims to the United States with the Treaty of Paris in 1783.
American Revolution began a series of intellectual, political, and social shifts
in early American society and government. The development of American republicanism was
particularly significant, including election of a representative government rather than
the prevalent plutocracies of the inherited aristocracies in Europe at the time. The
Constitution of the United States (1787), which replaced the Articles of Confederation.
The Constitution established a relatively powerful federated government. This was followed
by the United States Bill of Rights (1791), comprising the first 10 constitutional
amendments. It guaranteed many natural rights that were so influential in justifying the
revolution, attempting to balance a strong national government with relatively broad
The American Revolution and Historical Explanation - Whitmeyer, Joseph
Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association
Abstract: A useful method for historical explanation is analysis in terms of power. This
means assessing the power, or ability to affect the outcome in question, of focal actors
and entities, determining their use of that power, and, perhaps, accounting for that use.
The first of these depends, in part, methodologically on deductive theory: the power of
one entity depends on what others can be expected to do, and theory can help assess that.
The second is mostly historical accounting, but may need theory to determine what goals
are feasible for actors. In the third, theory such as rational choice may be especially
useful when the power-holding actor is an aggregate of individuals. These points are
illustrated with examples drawn from the American Revolution.
NATURAL RIGHTS AND IMPERIAL CONSTITUTIONALISM: THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION AND THE DEVELOPMENT
OF THE AMERICAN AMALGAM
Michael Zuckert, Political Science, Univ of Notre Dame, Social Philosophy and Policy
Abstract: Robert Nozick worked in a Lockean tradition of political philosophy, a tradition
with deep resonance in the American political culture. This paper attempts to explore the
formative moments of that culture and at the same time to clarify the role of Lockean
philosophy in the American Revolution. One of the currently dominant approaches to the
revolution emphasizes the colonists' commitments to their rights, but identifies the
relevant rights as the rights of Englishmen, not natural rights in the Lockean
mode. This approach misses, however, the way the Americans construed their positive or
constitutional rights in the light of a Lockean background theory. In a word, the
Americans recreated an amalgam of traditional constitutional principles and Lockean
philosophy, an amalgam that nearly guaranteed that they and the British would speak past
each other. The ambiguities and uncertainties of the British constitution as extended to
the colonies provided an incentive to the Americans (but not the British) to look to Locke
as a guide to their rights, thereby helping win a place for Lockean theory in American
The Religious Roots of the American Revolution and the Right to Keep and Bear Arms
David B. Kopel, Independence Institute - Journal on Firearms and Public Policy, Vol. 17,
Abstract: This article examines the religious background of the American Revolution. The
article details how the particular religious beliefs of the American colonists developed
so that the American people eventually came to believe that overthrowing King George and
Parliament was a sacred obligation. The religious attitudes which impelled the Americans
to armed revolution are an essential component of the American ideology of the right to
keep and bear arms.
A New Economic Analysis of the American Revolution
Paul Hallwood, Ambyre Ponivas (University of Connecticut)
Abstract: We offer an analysis of the American Revolution in which actors are modeled as
choosing the sovereign organization that maximizes their net expected benefits. Benefits
of secession derive from satisfaction of greed and settlement of grievance. Costs derive
from the cost of civil war and lost benefit of Empire membership. When expected net
benefits are positive for both secessionists and the Empire civil war ensues, otherwise it
is settled or never begins in the first place. The novelty of our discussion is to show
how diverse economic and non-economic factors (such as pamphleteering by Thomas Paine and
the morale of the Revolutionary forces) can be integrated into a single economic model.
From "American Independence" to the "American Revolution."
Rachum, Ilan, Cambridge University Press, Journal of American Studies
Abstract: The term American Revolution basically replaced the American War of Independence
in 1781 and 1782 because of 'The Revolution of America' by Guillaume Thomas Francois
Raynal and Thomas Paine's response to the book. Previously, revolution meant the
overthrowing of James II, but it slowly began to mean the adoption of original political
ideas while independence meant a separation from the dominant nation. Both the book and
Paine's response were publicly distributed, which brought the new term to prominence. It
had been occasionally used earlier but never in a public forum.
The American Revolution: Strategy Success or Failure? - Todsen II, Peter B.
ARMY WAR COLL CARLISLE BARRACKS PA
Abstract : The American Revolution was the first successful struggle to sever an imperial
relationship in modern times. How could a small disjointed group of American colonists
subservient to the most powerful nation in the world fight for and eventually gain their
full independence? What were the political objectives of the countries involved prior to
the start of hostilities, and how did those objectives change throughout the time period
of the war? What military strategies were used by each side, and what role did the
coalitions formed during the war have on the final outcome? This paper will examine these
questions and consider what both sides desired or expected as a result of the war; analyze
the ways each attempted to achieve their goals; examine the roles of alliances; and
finally, analyze the post-war settlements and compare those results with the pre-war